There is a bit of a delay with a couple posts, and this is one of them. Before the end of the 2013, friends and I went to Small Plates Detroit, which is located on Syracuse’s Walton Street. My first experience at this Armory Square restaurant resulted in utter disaster, and the group and I retreated to Kitty Hoynes Irish Pub where we received excellent service.
Redemption: everyone deserves a second chance.
However, despite first impressions being first impressions, I put aside the poor taste that was in my mouth when our party walked into the restaurant on Saturday, December 28th. Friends of ours had gotten into town, and they wanted to grab a quick bite to eat. The decision was Small Plates Detroit. Entering, the decor was the same dismal grey with the one wall covered by urban art. Along the left hand wall was a blue matted fabric wall, which resembles something you used to see in your grade school auditorium, covering half the wall and most of the brick.
Walking into Small Plates, there were eight of us, and we wanted to scope out the bar for space. The hostess did not address us, but looked confused. I grabbed her attention to explain to her that we would be sitting at the bar. It was also asked if it were possible to sit at a table if the executive decision was made.
She said, “Sure.”
Minutes later, we were about to grab a couple drinks when a member of our group asked the same hostess if we could sit. She snapped at us and said, “No. You can’t occupy a table and grab drinks at the bar. You have to eat at a table and utilize the server for ordering drinks as well.
The member of our party said, “Yes, we understand that. I was simply asking if we could sit at that table.”
The hostess said, “Yes, but you have to order everything there.”
I kept my mouth shut, but a concerned glare was cast in her direction.
Another member of our group asked, “Is that a pizza bar down there? How does that work?”
The hostess replied, “Yes. You can’t get drinks down there.” Period. There was no explanation on how the pizza bar worked. We shrugged our shoulders and planted ourselves at the bar, because it was easiest. I waited for a good amount of time sticking the folded $10 bill out. The bartender walked by me a few times, and my brother said he’d get the guy’s attention, which I told him was unnecessary.
The bartender finally asks, “Yeah?” Smiling, I place my order of an IPA, which I was familiar with. The monetary transaction was made. As he handed me the money, I started to ask a question about the IPA. The bartender left my falling words in the dust.
Food was ordered this time, and no one gave us a hard time to have it come out all at once… despite it being highly suggested that it comes out tapas style. Hey, when an individual orders a plate, it’s their food. They want their food when others get that food. The friend who asked about the pizza bar ordered sliders. What if he was at a table where no one at meat. He is stuck eating alone. Needless to say, the lack of slack was a good customer service decision.
He did get the sliders, and he said they were great. Pizza was also ordered, and I had the opportunity to try it. The style of white pizza had great flavor, but the crust was rather dry. After the food was consumed, we left, and no one thanked us for our business.
There really are no words, but disappointment. Here is a locally-friendly (to my knowledge) restaurant that wants to stake a claim as part of the Armory Square restaurants. Rude, poor service… twice?
Strike two, Small Plates.